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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Fifty players were selected before he was … in the third round … of the 2012 MLS supplemental draft. It's a selection process reserved for the afterthoughts, the guys who weren't good enough to get picked in the SuperDraft.

So being taken No. 51 has taught Antoine Hoppenot a thing or two about humility.

“I feel like everybody wants to play, but I never expected to play this much soon since, you know, I'm a supplemental guy,” Hoppenot said.

A Princeton product, Hoppenot scored in the 87th minute – a savvy chip for the first MLS tally of his career, off a brilliant throughball from Michael Farfan – in the Union's 4-0 win Saturday night over Sporting Kansas City. He was subbed on in the 58th minute, in place of Freddy Adu.

It's right to assume the Union expect more out of Adu, their designated played. But Adu said he was “running a little fatigued” and suffering from a bum shoulder, courtesy a first-half hit. That left the door open for Hoppenot to shine.

Hoppenot was all over PPL Park Saturday, racing through the box with regularity and making runs into the offensive third. He was challenging from the moment he stepped onto the field, even with his team ahead by two goals. The 21-year-old forward drew a foul in the box, setting up Lio Pajoy's 82nd-minute penalty-kick tally, before scoring one of his own – a chip-shot goal in the 87th.

“I love coming in with 20, 30 minutes left. Right now that's my thing,” Hoppenot said. “I can go out there and just completely gas myself out because 20, 30 minutes is not that much time. It's perfect for me. I can go out there and sprint, sprint, sprint and make something happen.

“I was just happy to get drafted,” he continued. “I worked hard when I got to camp and now Coach (John) Hackworth has confidence in me. He knows if he keeps playing me, I'm going to keep trying the best I have.”

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